CHAPTER 436a

ANIMAL POPULATION CONTROL

Table of Contents

Secs. 22-380a to 22-380d. Spaying and neutering clinics established; fees. Procedure for spaying and neutering. Receipt and disposition of funds; program termination. Report to General Assembly.

Sec. 22-380e. Definitions.

Sec. 22-380f. Payment for adoption of unspayed or unneutered dog or cat. Connecticut Humane Society exemption. Report. Termination of exemption.

Sec. 22-380g. Animal population control account. Distribution of forms. Programs for vaccination and sterilization of cats and dogs. Funds. Suspension of programs.

Sec. 22-380h. Participating veterinarians. Requirements.

Sec. 22-380i. Payments to participating veterinarians for sterilizations and vaccinations performed.

Sec. 22-380j. Procedure for abandonment of dogs or cats in program.

Sec. 22-380k. Report re operation of program.

Sec. 22-380l. Surcharge on licensure of unspayed or unneutered dogs.

Sec. 22-380m. Regulations.


Secs. 22-380a to 22-380d. Spaying and neutering clinics established; fees. Procedure for spaying and neutering. Receipt and disposition of funds; program termination. Report to General Assembly. Sections 22-380a to 20-380d, inclusive, are repealed, effective October 1, 1997.

(P.A. 75-466, S. 1–5; P.A. 76-63, S. 1; P.A. 77-307, S. 1–3; P.A. 86-312, S. 7, 21; P.A. 97-234, S. 11.)

Sec. 22-380e. Definitions. As used in sections 22-380e to 22-380m, inclusive:

(1) “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Agriculture;

(2) “Program” means the animal population control program;

(3) “Account” means the animal population control account;

(4) “Participating veterinarian” means any veterinarian who has been certified to participate in the program by the commissioner;

(5) “Pound” means any state or municipal facility where impounded, quarantined or stray dogs and cats are kept or any veterinary hospital or commercial kennel where such dogs or cats are kept by order of a municipality;

(6) “Eligible owner” means a person who has purchased or adopted a dog or cat from a pound and who is a resident of this state;

(7) “Medically unfit” means (A) unsuitable for a surgical procedure due to any medical condition that may place a dog or cat at life-threatening risk if a surgical procedure is performed on such animal, as determined by a participating veterinarian, or (B) unsuitable for sterilization due to insufficiency in age, as determined by a participating veterinarian, of a dog or cat under the age of six months;

(8) “Neuter” means the surgical procedure of castration on a male dog or cat;

(9) “Spay” means the surgical procedure of ovariohysterectomy on a female dog or cat;

(10) “Voucher” means a nontransferable document provided by the commissioner and issued by a pound to an eligible owner authorizing payment of a predetermined amount from the animal population control account to a participating veterinarian;

(11) “Feral cat” means a cat of the species Felis catus that is unowned, that exists in a wild or untamed state or has returned to an untamed state from domestication and whose behavior is suggestive of a wild animal; and

(12) “Low-income person” means a recipient of or a person eligible for one of the following public assistance programs:

(A) The supplemental nutrition assistance program authorized by Title XIII of the federal Food and Agriculture Act of 1977, 7 USC 2011 et seq.;

(B) The federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Act authorized by 42 USC 601 et seq.;

(C) The Medicaid program authorized by Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act;

(D) The HUSKY Plan Part A;

(E) The state-administered general assistance program;

(F) The state supplement program; or

(G) Any other public assistance program that the commissioner determines to qualify a person as a low-income person.

(P.A. 92-187, S. 1, 10; P.A. 01-87, S. 1; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 146(e); P.A. 04-189, S. 1; P.A. 07-105, S. 2; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-5, S. 35; P.A. 09-9, S. 38; P.A. 11-44, S. 135.)

History: (Revisor’s note: In 1995 references to “fund” in Subdiv. (3) were replaced editorially by the Revisors with references to “account” to conform section with Sec. 22-380g as amended by P.A. 94-95); P.A. 01-87 redefined “participating veterinarian” and defined “medically unfit”, “neuter”, “spay” and “voucher”; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 replaced Commissioner of Agriculture with Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective July 1, 2004; P.A. 04-189 repealed Sec. 146 of June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, thereby reversing the merger of the Departments of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective June 1, 2004; P.A. 07-105 added new Subdivs. (11) and (12) defining “feral cat” and “low-income person”; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-5 made technical changes in Subdiv. (12); P.A. 09-9 amended Subdiv. (12)(A) by replacing “food stamp” with “supplemental nutrition assistance”, effective May 4, 2009; P.A. 11-44 amended Subdiv. (12)(E) to redefine “low-income person” by deleting reference to medical assistance or cash assistance components, effective July 1, 2011.

Sec. 22-380f. Payment for adoption of unspayed or unneutered dog or cat. Connecticut Humane Society exemption. Report. Termination of exemption. (a) No pound shall sell or give away any unspayed or unneutered dog or cat to any person unless such pound receives forty-five dollars from the person buying or adopting such dog or cat. Funds received pursuant to this section shall be paid quarterly by the municipality into the animal population control account established under section 22-380g. At the time of receipt of such payment, the pound shall complete a voucher, for the purpose of benefits, as provided in section 22-380i, for the sterilization and vaccination of such dog or cat and (1) provide the voucher to the person buying or adopting such dog or cat, or (2) retain such voucher and submit it to a participating veterinarian for such sterilization and vaccination before releasing the dog or cat to the person buying or adopting the dog or cat. Any such voucher shall be on a form provided by the commissioner and signed (A) by the eligible owner if the voucher is provided to the person buying or adopting the dog or cat, or (B) by a representative of the pound if the pound retains the voucher. Such voucher shall become void after sixty days from the date of purchase or adoption unless a participating veterinarian certifies that the dog or cat is medically unfit for surgery. Such certification shall be on a form provided by the commissioner and specify a date by which such dog or cat may be fit for sterilization. If the surgery is performed more than thirty days after such specified date, the voucher shall become void. In the case of a dog or cat that has been previously sterilized or is permanently medically unfit for sterilization, as determined by a participating veterinarian, the voucher shall be void and the eligible owner may apply to the commissioner for a refund in the amount of forty-five dollars. If a dog or cat has pyometra and is not purchased or adopted from a pound, a representative of the pound may complete a voucher, for the purpose of benefits, as provided in section 22-380i, and submit such voucher to a participating veterinarian for the sterilization and vaccination of such dog or cat.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, no pound shall receive forty-five dollars from the Connecticut Humane Society for any unsterilized cat or dog that is given by such pound to the Connecticut Humane Society, provided such cat or dog is sterilized prior to the adoption of such animal from the Connecticut Humane Society. Such sterilization shall not be required if a licensed veterinarian certifies, in writing, that the animal is medically unfit for sterilization surgery.

(c) The Connecticut Humane Society shall submit a biannual report to the Commissioner of Agriculture that shall include, but not be limited to, the municipal facility from which any animal described in subsection (b) of this section was taken, the impound number of such animal, the species and gender of such animal, the date that the Connecticut Humane Society received the animal and the date of sterilization for such animal.

(d) Upon a finding that the Connecticut Humane Society has failed to comply with any provision of subsection (b) or (c) of this section, the Commissioner of Agriculture may terminate the Connecticut Humane Society’s exemption from the payment of the forty-five-dollar fee required pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

(P.A. 92-187, S. 2, 10; P.A. 97-162, S. 4; 97-187, S. 1, 4; P.A. 01-87, S. 2; P.A. 03-198, S. 1; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 146(h); P.A. 04-189, S. 1; P.A. 07-105, S. 3; P.A. 12-108, S. 1.)

History: P.A. 92-187, S. 2 effective July 1, 1994; (Revisor’s note: In 1995 the phrase “animal population control fund” was replaced editorially by the Revisors with “animal population control account” to conform with Sec. 22-380g, as amended by P.A. 94-95, S. 19); P.A. 97-162 provided that funds be paid into the animal population control account quarterly rather than monthly; P.A. 97-187 reduced the refund amounts for sterilization of adopted fertile dogs and cats and established a nonrefundable fee to be paid by rescue or adoption organizations for acquisition of dogs and cats from pounds, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 01-87 eliminated provision re payment of $25 for purchase or adoption of animals by animal rescue organizations, eliminated provisions re certificate and refund, changed “pound” to “municipality” re quarterly payments to account and established a voucher program for sterilization and vaccination of adopted animals; P.A. 03-198 designated existing provisions as Subsec. (a) and added new Subsecs. (b), (c) and (d) re Connecticut Humane Society’s exemption from the $45 fee; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 replaced Commissioner of Agriculture with Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective July 1, 2004; P.A. 04-189 repealed Sec. 146 of June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, thereby reversing the merger of the Departments of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective June 1, 2004; P.A. 07-105 amended Subsec. (c) to change recipient of report from Animal Population Control Fund to Commissioner of Agriculture; P.A. 12-108 amended Subsec. (a) to add provisions authorizing pound to retain and submit voucher to participating veterinarian for sterilization and vaccination before releasing dog or cat to person buying or adopting such animal, requiring voucher to be signed by eligible owner if voucher is provided to person buying or adopting such animal or by representative of the pound if pound retains the voucher, requiring that voucher become void after 60 days from date of purchase or adoption and authorizing representative of pound to complete and submit voucher for sterilization and vaccination of dog or cat having pyometra, to insert Subdiv. designators (1) and (2) and Subpara. designators (A) and (B) and to make technical changes.

Sec. 22-380g. Animal population control account. Distribution of forms. Programs for vaccination and sterilization of cats and dogs. Funds. Suspension of programs. (a) The Commissioner of Agriculture shall (1) establish an animal population control program to provide for spaying and neutering services to eligible owners of dogs and cats, (2) establish an account to be known as the “animal population control account” that may contain any moneys required by law to be deposited in the account and any balance remaining in said account at the end of any fiscal year shall be carried forward in said account for the fiscal year next succeeding, (3) create a standard dog licensing form and distribute said form to veterinarians or the operators of pet shops, pet grooming facilities, municipal pounds or dog training facilities who voluntarily agree to make such forms available for the convenience of dog owners, (4) establish a program to assist registered nonprofit rescue groups with the sterilization and vaccination of feral cats, and (5) establish a program to sterilize and vaccinate dogs and cats owned by a low-income person.

(b) Not more than ten per cent of the funds deposited in the animal population control account in accordance with subsection (f) of section 14-21h, subsection (a) of section 22-338, section 22-380f and section 22-380l shall be used for the sterilization and vaccination of feral cats program in accordance with subdivision (4) of subsection (a) of this section.

(c) Not more than ten per cent of the funds deposited in the animal population control account in accordance with subsection (f) of section 14-21h, subsection (a) of section 22-338, section 22-380f and section 22-380l shall be used for the sterilization and vaccination of dogs and cats owned by a low-income person pursuant to the program established under subdivision (5) of subsection (a) of this section.

(d) The commissioner may solicit and accept funds from any public or private source of help to carry out the goals of the programs established under subsection (a) of this section, including, but not limited to, the sterilization of feral cats as provided in section 22-339d. A donor may earmark funds for any or all of such programs.

(e) Any revenue collected pursuant to the provisions of sections 22-380f and 22-380l shall be deposited in the animal population control account. All money in the account shall be used by the commissioner exclusively for (1) the implementation and promotion of the animal population control program, (2) the costs associated with the administration of such program, provided not more than two hundred twenty-five thousand dollars may be expended for administrative costs per year, and (3) reimbursement of persons completing a training program pursuant to subsections (c) and (d) of section 22-328, for the costs of such program.

(f) The commissioner may suspend any or all of the programs at any time that the amount of money available in the account is less than three hundred thousand dollars. The commissioner may reinstate any of the suspended programs when such amount exceeds three hundred thousand dollars.

(P.A. 92-187, S. 3, 10; P.A. 94-95, S. 19; P.A. 96-243, S. 3; P.A. 01-87, S. 3; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 146(e); P.A. 04-189, S. 1; P.A. 07-105, S. 4; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-5, S. 36; P.A. 12-108, S. 3.)

History: P.A. 94-95 changed name of fund from “Animal Population Control Fund” to “animal population control account”; P.A. 96-243 amended Subsec. (b) to authorize use of the account for sterilization of feral cats as provided in Sec. 22-339d; P.A. 01-87 amended Subsec. (a) to make technical changes and add provisions requiring Commissioner of Agriculture to create a standard dog licensing form available for dog owners and allowing the commissioner to set aside up to $40,000 each fiscal year for providing assistance to charitable programs that sterilize and vaccinate feral cats, and amended Subsec. (d) to change $400,000 to $300,000; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 replaced Commissioner of Agriculture with Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective July 1, 2004; P.A. 04-189 repealed Sec. 146 of June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, thereby reversing the merger of the Departments of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective June 1, 2004; P.A. 07-105 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting provision re set aside for charitable programs, adding provision re operators of pet shops, pet grooming facilities, municipal pounds or dog training facilities in Subdiv. (3) and adding Subdivs. (4) and (5), added new Subsecs. (b) and (c), redesignated existing Subsecs. (b) to (d) as Subsecs. (d) to (f), amended Subsec. (d) to make a conforming change and allow donors to earmark funds, amended Subsec. (e) to increase limit on administrative costs from $180,000 to $225,000 and made technical changes in Subsec. (f); June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-5 made technical changes in Subsec. (c); P.A. 12-108 amended Subsec. (e) to designate existing provisions re use of account money as Subdivs. (1) and (2), add Subdiv. (3) re expenditure of money from account for reimbursement of persons completing animal control officer training program and make technical changes, effective June 8, 2012.

Sec. 22-380h. Participating veterinarians. Requirements. (a) Any veterinarian licensed pursuant to section 20-199 may file with the commissioner, on forms provided by the commissioner, an application to become a participating veterinarian in the program.

(b) In order to be certified by the commissioner as a participating veterinarian, the veterinarian shall: (1) Perform all spay and neuter surgical procedures in a veterinary hospital facility or mobile clinic equipped for such procedures located in this state that meets the standards set forth in regulations adopted by the commissioner, as provided in section 20-196; (2) make all records pertaining to care provided, work done and fees received for or in connection with the program available for inspection by the commissioner or the commissioner’s designee; (3) maintain records in accordance with regulations adopted under section 19a-14; and (4) hold a currently valid license to practice veterinary medicine in this state issued by the Department of Public Health.

(c) Any licensed veterinarian of this state may be certified by the commissioner as a participating veterinarian unless the commissioner disqualifies such veterinarian. The commissioner may disqualify a veterinarian if such veterinarian has been found in violation of any provision of sections 22-380e to 22-380m, inclusive, or any laws relating to the practice of veterinary medicine. Any veterinarian disqualified or otherwise denied participation in the program may appeal, within ten days of receipt of a notice of such disqualification or denial, to the commissioner who shall hold a hearing to consider such appeal, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54.

(d) Complaints received by the commissioner or the commissioner’s designee regarding services provided by participating veterinarians shall be referred to the Board of Veterinary Medicine of the Department of Public Health.

(P.A. 92-187, S. 4, 10; P.A. 01-87, S. 4; 01-195, S. 174, 175; 01-204, S. 10, 29; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-9, S. 73, 131.)

History: P.A. 92-187, S. 4 effective January 1, 1994; P.A. 01-87 divided existing provisions into Subsecs. (a) and (c), amended Subsec. (a) by changing “forms prescribed” to “forms provided” and deleting provisions re animal sterilization fee schedule, added Subsec. (b) re requirements to be certified as a participating veterinarian, amended Subsec. (c) by eliminating provisions re one-year time period for validity of certification, charging of unreasonable fee and regulations, and added Subsec. (d) re referral of complaints by participating veterinarians; P.A. 01-195 amended Subsec. (b) to substitute “designee” for “representative” and to delete “Connecticut” re Department of Public Health and amended Subsec. (d) to substitute “designee” for “representative”; P.A. 01-204 also substituted “designee” for “representative” in Subsecs. (b) and (d), effective July 11, 2001; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-9 revised effective date of P.A. 01-204 but without affecting this section.

Sec. 22-380i. Payments to participating veterinarians for sterilizations and vaccinations performed. (a) The program established under section 22-380g shall provide for payment to any participating veterinarian of an amount equivalent to the voucher issued pursuant to section 22-380f for each animal sterilization and vaccinations, coincident with sterilization, performed by such veterinarian upon a dog or cat owned by an eligible owner. For a sterilization procedure, such voucher shall be in the amount of one hundred twenty dollars for a female dog, one hundred dollars for a male dog, seventy dollars for a female cat and fifty dollars for a male cat. In the case of a sterilization fee exceeding the amount of the voucher, the eligible owner shall pay the participating veterinarian the difference between such fee and the amount of the voucher. Such voucher shall be in the amount of twenty dollars, in addition to the amount designated for sterilization, for vaccinations coincident with the sterilization of a dog or cat owned by an eligible owner.

(b) The program established under section 22-380g shall further provide for a payment to any participating veterinarian for the presurgical immunization of dogs against rabies, distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis and parvovirus, or the presurgical immunization of cats against rabies, feline panleukopenia, calici, pneumonitis and rhinotracheitis, as the case may be, on animals not previously immunized. The payment shall be for no more than ten dollars for each immunization procedure and, in any case, not more than twenty dollars for one animal. Such veterinarian shall be paid by the commissioner upon the submission of a voucher, to be provided by the commissioner and signed by the veterinarian performing such operation and by the owner, stating that the animal has been immunized coincident with a spaying or neutering operation under the program.

(c) The participating veterinarian shall be paid by the commissioner for sterilization and coincident vaccinations of a dog or cat owned by an eligible owner upon submission of the voucher issued pursuant to section 22-380f and signed by such veterinarian.

(P.A. 92-187, S. 5, 10; P.A. 01-87, S. 5.)

History: P.A. 92-187, S. 5 effective July 1, 1994; P.A. 01-87 amended Subsec. (a) to make technical changes, establish payments to participating veterinarians for vaccinations coincident with sterilizations, delete provisions re animal sterilization certificate and establish payment amount for sterilizations and vaccinations, amended Subsec. (b) to change “certificate” to “voucher” and added Subsec. (c) re submission of signed vouchers by participating veterinarians for payment.

Sec. 22-380j. Procedure for abandonment of dogs or cats in program. In the event that any person who submits any cat or dog for spaying or neutering to a participating veterinarian fails to retrieve such cat or dog within the time recommended by such participating veterinarian, such veterinarian shall transfer custody of such dog or cat to a state animal control officer, regional animal control officer or a municipal animal control officer, as defined in section 22-327. No participating veterinarian who has performed services provided for in sections 22-380e to 22-380m, inclusive, shall be denied payment from the account due to any failure of an owner of a dog or cat to retrieve such dog or cat.

(P.A. 92-187, S. 6, 10; P.A. 01-87, S. 6.)

History: P.A. 92-187, S. 6 effective July 1, 1994; P.A. 01-87 changed “canine control officer” to “state animal control officer” and “fund” to “account”.

Sec. 22-380k. Report re operation of program. Not later than one year following the inception of the animal population control program, established pursuant to sections 22-380e to 22-380m, inclusive, and annually thereafter, the commissioner shall submit a report to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the environment setting forth a complete operating and financial statement regarding the operation of said program. The commissioner shall include in the report an evaluation of the effectiveness of said program and any recommendations for statutory or regulatory changes he deems appropriate.

(P.A. 92-187, S. 7, 10.)

Sec. 22-380l. Surcharge on licensure of unspayed or unneutered dogs. For each license issued pursuant to section 22-338 for an unspayed or unneutered dog, the town clerk shall collect a surcharge of six dollars which shall be deposited by such clerk into the animal population control account established pursuant to section 22-380g.

(P.A. 92-187, S. 8, 10.)

History: (Revisor’s note: In 1995 the phrase “animal population control fund” was replaced editorially by the Revisors with “animal population control account” to conform with Sec. 22-380g, as amended by P.A. 94-95, S. 19).

Sec. 22-380m. Regulations. The commissioner may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to implement the provisions of sections 22-380e to 22-380m, inclusive.

(P.A. 92-187, S. 9, 10.)